A year ago today we were deep into the build of our new 24 hour expansion, an expansion we invested a lot into and a gamble we were sure would pay off in time.
Alongside the expansion we wanted to get more involved with the community so within the first month of 2020 we had opened our expansion to a lot of praise from existing and new members. We were heavily involved with the council and local councillors and started anti bullying, fitness and careers assemblies in Schools, offering free sessions to a whole variety of groups and were in talks with the mayors office to find out how we could help with an array of projects within the city.
What we didn’t see coming (did anyone?) was the forced closure due to Covid 19. Since March we have been closed three times in total and have been closed more than we have been open this year. As you can imagine with the expense of expanding included this was not something we had ever taken into our financial forecast.
Here we are at the end of our toughest year, and bearing in mind we opened on the tail end of the recession in 2009, we really aren’t sure what 2021 really holds in store for us.
With little to no help from the local council, grants and loans exhausted we have never been more reliant on your support. For those that were able to afford to keep their direct debits going through the first lockdown, our reimbursement scheme has been released to you as promised. We had planned to release the scheme for those able to support us in the second lockdown, in January. As it stands we won’t be able to do that and without a time scale of when we can re-open it is hard for us to even give an estimate. One thing we know for sure is that as soon as we are able to it will be released and we will notify you straight away.
We really can’t thank all of you who have supported us this year. Whether you donated to our fundraising in the early days, left your direct debit active, helped with the renovation in the summer or just liked, shared or commented on one of our many social media posts. It really has shown us that we have built something special, something worth fighting for.
One thing we do know is that the current restrictions and measures can’t last forever. The economy has to re-open at some point and people will return to ‘normal’. When it does we will still be here because of all of you. In times of financial uncertainty to have members and friends support your dream is humbling and has often left us speechless. We swallowed our pride and asked for help when needed and you all rose to the occasion.
Something that 2020 has taught us is that we have a lot more people that care about what happens with our little gym than we thought. When you pour your heart and soul into something and it gets as much support as we have had, it’s a feeling like no other.
Wishing you a Happy New Year seems a little empty right now but we really do. We want you to be happy and look forward to the future. That doesn’t mean you should wish away your days. Do something constructive every day that you can, and if you don’t, it doesn’t matter just start again the next day.
Thank you once again for those that are able to afford to support us. We really wouldn’t be here without out you right now so if nothing else has been achieved this year you can count yourself as one of those who helped keep Gym 01 open.
Keep safe, keep your families safe and remember it won’t be like this forever.